Effect of solvent extraction on qualitative parameters of saffron edible extract

Author(s): Samaneh Gazerani, AliMohammadi Sani, Faezeh Tajalli

Saffron, known as expensive spice on the world and distinguished by its delicate flavor and attractive yellow color, is basically cultivated in Iran, Spain, and India. Besides to its use as spice, saffron is also esteemed as medical plant and since short time, has been investigated as a new safe source of natural antioxidants for the food industry. Saffron stigma includes crocin, picrocrocin, safranal. The objective of this study was to find a suitable solventwith optimized extraction temperature and time to produce saffron extract with improved quality factors. For this purpose, the active compounds of saffron were extracted using different solvent (water, aqueous ethanoland aqueous methanol) and different solvent concentration (30%, 50%and 80%) in different times (1, 5 and 72 h). The effect of time and solvent concentration on the extraction yield of three major constituents of saffron was investigated at 25°C, 40°C and 60°C. Results showed that the optimal parameters to extract the target compounds from saffron were as follows: extraction solvent: 50% aqueous ethanol; extraction condition 5h at 25 °C. The crocin, picrocrocin and safranal content of the extract produced were respectively 423.9, 49.51 and 133.1 compared to 229.7, 27.92 and 75.17 for the control.

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